Friday, 5 October 2012

Hoi An

We then continued on our way to Hoi An. This small town is picture perfect and was accidentally preserved from development by the closing of a main shipping port, essentially freezing it in time until now where it's having an rejuvenated life thanks to tourism. It was given UNESCO world heritage status in 1999. We spent 3 days, 2 nights here, staying at the Palm Garden Resort. This was the most luxury and 'honeymoon' we got on the whole trip. Though to be honest, we only spent about an hour and a half pool side with a local beer and fries…just not our thing. Too many interesting sights to see beyond those Palm Garden walls…
We were about a ten minute taxi ride from Hoi An, at the beach end of town. So we headed into the town, being dropped off at the outskirts as no cars are allowed in the inner center streets.
The city is quite touristy, every shop is either selling silk, silk clothes, a tailor, selling lacquered wood products, or embroidery. There were a lot of tourists getting clothes made in 24-hour turn around, but the quality of the fabric and range didn't look great, so we passed.
We ducked into this ancient Chinese medicine pharmacy, filled from floor to ceiling with cabinets of gorgeous porcelain. Display only, just as well.
It was baking hot at midday, and like a ghost town. So we retired to one of the free wifi cafes and I had my daily watermelon juice, Edu his beer. I think in Hoi An we had the best food of the whole trip. We ate at Morning Glory Street Food Restaurant and on my sister's recommendation had the stuffed squid, a local specialty. Amazing! We loved it so much. Along with other local delicacies we stuffed ourselves. The next day we ate across the road at a place recommended by the Lonely Planet, Cargo Club, but it was all western food and a real let down. So then we went back to Morning Glory for another great mean that night.
Streetview.
We went to the cloth market, and there I did buy a meter of fabric (nice bright feather pattern), until a rat scuttled across our path so we called it a day.
And then we were back to wondering the streets again.
We also got a little education on silk production at one shop. We were shown the little worms, munching away on their mulberry leaves, and then how the cocoons are unraveled for spinning.

One of the main sights is the covered Japanese bridge, and a house that had had seven generations of family live there. Here by day and night and some details from inside, where this is a small temple.



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